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Dale & Co. Solicitors Lincoln

Specialist Solicitors in Family Law, Divorce,
Property, Conveyancing, Probate, Wills and Powers of Attorney.

DALE & Co. Solicitors Lincoln
Justine Hunt
Chartered Legal Executive Director

Intestacy Rules: What If There Is No Will?

The intestacy rules set out what happens to a person's estate if they die without leaving a will, or if a will was made which was not legally valid.

If the person was married or in a civil partnership, their partner will inherit the majority of the estate. This only applies in the case of a legally binding marriage or civil partnership. Long-term partners who are not married or couples who are legally divorced or have had their civil partnership dissolved are not entitled to anything under intestacy rules. However, couples who are still legally joined but are informally separated are entitled to inherit the estate of the deceased.

The first £250,000 of the estate automatically goes to the partner of the deceased. If there are any children, they are entitled to half of anything over this amount. If there is no partner, the estate will be divided equally between all the children (this includes both biological and adopted children, but not step-children).

The following people have no right to inherit where someone dies without leaving a will:

  • partners who are not married or in a civil partnership (sometimes called 'common-law' partners)
  • relations by marriage
  • friends
  • carers

Parents, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews of the intestate person may inherit under the rules of intestacy. This will depend on a number of circumstances:

  • whether there is a surviving married or civil partner
  • whether there are children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren.
  • in the case of nephews and nieces, whether the parent directly related to the person who has died is also dead
  • the amount of the estate.

Contact Dale & Co. today for more information.

Last Updated: Thursday 25th April 2019